The best memory of my life happened at a Ravens game.
I was talking to my dad in mid-August of 2015, and I told him that for my 18th birthday I wanted to go to a Ravens game. Living in Indiana, it's harder for me to see the Ravens play either in person or on TV, so I typically listen to the Ravens radio broadcast.
I became a Ravens fan indirectly. When I was starting to become interested in football, I wanted to be my own person and find my own team to love. Around that time, the movie "The Blind Side" had just come out. I was a fan of Michael Oher, but not too long after I became a fan of the whole team.
My dad said that we wouldn't be able to go to Baltimore, at least for now, but we could look to see them in Cincinnati. We bought tickets that day for the Jan. 3, 2016 game. I was so excited to be spending my 18th birthday watching football.
Unfortunately, we had so many people on injured reserve, and I didn't know a lot of the players and the game didn't have much meaning. But I was still hoping to get player autographs and cheer on my team.
I was dressed to the nines in purple, and I had my Ravens flag that I was hoping to get signed and also a sign I had made that said: "Indianapolis to Cincinnati to see the Ravens for my 18th B-Day!"
Once I got in the stadium, I ran to the Ravens tunnel and stood there trying to get players' attention. While I was standing there, Coach Harbaugh came out and I was too slow and couldn't get his attention in time to get his autograph.
I was able to get Ladarius Webb to sign my flag when he was heading into the tunnel after warm-ups, and he was getting ready for introductions. Then Coach Harbaugh was walking past me again, and this time I was ready.
I started yelling, "Hey Coach! Coach!" and he looked at me and read my sign. He smiled and threw the pregame football he was holding to me. I was so unprepared, I ended up dropping the ball! Everyone around me was in shock and wanted to see the ball, but I was afraid that they wouldn't give it back.
I covered the football and ran through the rows back to my seat and went running up to my dad. He thought I was excited because I had gotten an autograph, but was shocked I had gotten a ball.
The Ravens ended up losing that game, and ended a season that I'm glad to forget today, but I will never be able to forget that moment of joy.